What's up with podfics?
I've been recording and listening to podfics for, what, nearly four years now? So I have a vested interest in more people learning about them. But podfics are genuinely a delight, both as a type of fanworks and as a community. So, what exactly are they?
1. Pod... fic?
A podfic is basically the fannish equivalent of an audiobook. It's a voice recording of a fic. Most often, it's a straight-forward read-through, but it can also have music or sound effects or multiple voices, or whatever else. To learn more about the history of podfic and the community around it, check out fanlore. It's a bit outdated, but it covers the basics.
2. Why though?
There are many answers to that question. Because you can enjoy a story on the go, or while doing something else, like say, cleaning the apartment or falling asleep? Because it's a different experience than reading the fic yourself, an interpretation of it, with a different rhythm and so much emotion? Because it's the warm voice of another human being telling you a story out of love?
Podfics aren't for everyone, just like audiobooks and podcasts and fics aren't for everyone. If they're not for you, that's fine! At least now you know what they are!
3. Where do I find them?
If you went "oooh" reading this though, here is what you should do:
Go to AO3. Search for both "podfic" and your favorite fandom or pairing (either through the podfic tag and then filtering the results, or the other way around). Warning, this might not work with small-to-medium sized fandoms. Then find three podfics by three different podficcers that sound like something you'd like. I say three podficcers because each podficcer has their own reading style(s) and audio quality.
There is no universal convention for formatting podfics on AO3, because AO3 is... let's say not the best for anything that isn't text, but often, you can get an idea of the audio length in the tags. If you need the original text version, it'll be linked to with an "inspired by" link in the notes just below the summary, once you open the AO3 work. The link(s) to the audio will be somewhere in the body of the AO3 work. Most often, you'll have to click through to the hosting website (Dropbox, Soundcloud, Google Drive, etc.), but in some cases right-clicking the link on AO3 and selecting "save as" works, too.
Come talk to me about podfics on Twitter at @iamapodperson and ask any other questions you have about podfics!